Archive for September, 2011

BoSox out, Cardinals in

And there was great weeping and gnashing of teeth. . .

And there was much rejoicing.

Hoping Boston wins

Tonight, the Skink is glued to the TV, watching Boston play Baltimore.  I think this is the final game of Boston’s season, and if they win and if a lot of other things fall a certain way, they will get into the play-offs.  This would be a big deal.  Right nowm the game has been rain delayed, and Major League Baseball says that although the rain is expected to continue for some time, the game will not be called.  Could be late night for My Hero!

Meanwhile, while Scott cheers his Red Sox on, I am very close to catching Katie in a game of online scrabble.  Amazing.  We’re down to 11 letters remaining, and I have a great word to play, but it’s not my turn.

It’s nice to enjoy a bit of recreation!

Buying a house

Trying to get inspired for a post today. . . I guess the time has come for me to publicly state that we are in the process of buying a vacation rental home.  My natural tendency is to worry and get stressed about all the details, but I am choosing to resist all that and stay calm and peaceful.  Thankfully, Scott is  graciously allowing me to not play a major role in this endeavor, and that helps a lot.

The plan is for us to close and take possession on Friday, and then the first set of guests arrives on Monday.  It’s a good thing the house is virtually fully furnished, because it’s looking to be a busy weekend, just moving in the stuff we’ve been acquiring and getting it all squared away.  God’s grace is enough, and it will all be well.

Working my way down

Yesterday I reached a milestone.   I have been overweight for forty years and still am, but for the first time in well over twenty years, for the past two days my weight has been equal to Scott’s! (Since the middle of my first pregnancy, it has been higher.)  God has been gracious to me and I am rejoicing.

Taking my own medicine

I sent an email to a dear friend of mine who leads a terrifically busy life and therefore has not posted to her blog in four months.  She then posted my email on her blog, hoping to motivate herself to write something, ANYTHING, on a regular basis.

I, too, have been lax in this area, so here’s today’s short post.

The Llama and I are home alone in the rain today.  He is finishing up (or maybe not. . .? ) this week’s school work, and I am supposed to be doing academic planning and writing some blurb for our vacation home.  I am committed to spend fifteen minutes a day on that till I get it done, but I will say that I hate having projects hanging over me that I don’t know how to do.  This is one of them.

Scott, Jessica, and Andrew are out shopping.  Well, let me edit that.  AS I finished typing that sentence, Andrew hollered, “We’re home!” so I guess they are home now.

Katie’s in Virginia, and I do miss her.  However, she assures me that all is going well there, so that’s good.

It’s cool and rainy, and I need to find out if the movie night at a nearby church – that Josiah and Andrew are planning to go to – will still occur if it’s raining.

Medicine taken.  More to come.

My phone may be dying – so sad, so sad

I like my phone a lot.

It’s very sturdy.  I can drop it, snap the battery and back back on, and always turns back on and works like a champ.

It’s loud.  I can actually hear well on it, as opposed to the house phone or face-to-face conversations.

It’s simple.  I can talk on it.  It doesn’t take pictures or play music or tune in the radio or shoot video.  If I absolutely have to text, I can.  It’s a phone.

But today, Scott told me that we’re going to have to get me another phone.  He claims that my phone doesn’t ring.  Hmmm. . . now, I guess that would be a problem.  He KEEPS calling me on the house phone on his way home from work, and that is obnoxious, because there’s so much static and I can’t hear him well.  It’s also cheaper to call my cell, so I’ve been wondering why he doesn’t.  It must be because he calls my cell first, but since it never rings, I don’t answer it.  That is probably frustrating for him – about as frustrating as the six months that his phone consistently hung up on me. . .

So now it looks like I will have to get a phone that does a whole lot of things I don’t want it to do and costs a lot of money for the privilege.  (Sigh)  I did try to buy a second phone like mine a couple years ago, against the day when mine should pass away.  I was going to buy it secretly and hide it away, and then at the necessary time I could just take the card out of my phone and stick it in the new one, and no one would be the wiser.  I tried, but when I went back to Wal-Mart, this handy little workhorse of a phone had already been phased out and was no longer available.

My phone only cost $25 and it has lasted well for probably four years.   I will now choose to be thankful for what I’ve had.  (Sniff, sniff)

Happy anniversary

Our kids really blessed us this past weekend by handling everything on their own, so that we could go away to celebrate our 24th anniversary.  We left Friday at 11:00 AM for Creek’s End near Parthenon, AR and returned Monday at 5:30 PM.  It was an absolutely glorious, God-blessed weekend – perfect weather, a lovely secluded cabin in a very romantic setting, plenty of rest, and lots of fun times hiking, biking, picnicking, and seeing the elk.

We were truly refreshed and inspired.

Sleepless night

Every so often, I have a night from You Know Where, and last night was such a night.  I’m not sure why.  Could’ve been hormonal; could’ve been that I just had too much on my mind, but I spent an awful lot of hours awake.  The result is that my eyes have been burning most of the day, and I’m really tired, but thankfully, I’ve still been able to be at least somewhat productive.

Quicken and QuickBooks are updated and two ministry accounts are reconciled.  The library lists are printed and most of the return books are collected.  Andrew has finally completed today’s assignments.  I stayed calm with him and made the slo-mo math work his problem instead of mine.  I prepped and emailed the monthly invoices for the three big kids.  Supper is in the crock-pot, which is a good thing.  I did not walk and water this morning (having finally fallen asleep at 5:45 AM), but it’s bee COOL for two days, so the plants could miss a day of watering and be fine.  Whew!

I have been encouraged today.

Storing the light bulbs

They’re in the dishwasher now.

Please don’t tell my husband that.  It’s one of those cases in which what he doesn’t know truly won’t bother him.  He’s highly unlikely to either read this blog or open the dishwasher, so I am pretty sure that my secret is safe, as long as our readers don’t curiously go opening the dishwasher to see if I’m telling the truth.  I know that those of your who live here WILL indeed do that, but I would ask that you only do it when Dad is not on the property.  = )

Readers who don’t live in our house may wonder about my sanity, so allow me to explain.

Some six (?) years ago, when our hard water destroyed our second replacement dishwasher, there was some difference of opinion as to how we should proceed.  Options considered at the time included:

1.  Buying another dishwasher (which would work well for three or four months and then, as the water pressure steadily decline, would leave the dishes dirtier and dirtier, eventually requiring full hand-washing thereof)

2.  Buying another dishwasher and installing a water softener (which would alter the taste of our rock-hard water)

3.  Doing the dishes the old-fashioned way, with or without

4.  Replacing the dishwasher with some type of cabinetry or other storage

5.  Using paper plates exclusively

I vetoed #1, the kids and I vetoed #2, Scott vetoed #3, and #5 was not cost-effective, so we have since been left with #3, without.

Meanwhile, there have been the issues of beach towels and light bulbs.  Our ninety-nine year-old home has very little storage space.  Oh, yes, there are plenty of cabinets in the kitchen, and there are a couple of high ones over the washer and dryer in the laundry room, but beyond that, we are clearly closet-deficient.  There’s no hall closet, no coat closet, no guest closet, no linen closet, and in fact no closet at all on the first floor, with the exception of Jessica’s miniscule bedroom one.

Each of the boys does have a small closet in his bedroom, our master bedroom has a small walk-through closet – actually a tiny hallway – with a hanging bar (Scott’s clothes) and shelf;  when our bathroom was re-done, we had three more shelves and another hanging bar (my clothes) added.  As mentioned in a recent post, our office also has a small closet which would be considered coat-closet size in a more modern house.  And that’s it.

Now, since beach towels should really be stored on the first floor where they are used, they have for years lived in the cabinet above the dryer.  With six people in the house, I feel a compulsion to have at least six beach towels available at all times.  Yes, even in the winter.  Beach towels are our go-to for things like minor floods across the kitchen floor, people puking in odd places, sopping up auto upholstery when windows have been left open in rain, etc.

Then there’s the matter of light bulbs.  I cannot stand to store things in ways in which they are not readily visible, so I like to be able to look at my light bulb stash and tell at a glance how many I have of which kind.  And in this old house, one must stock a lot of kinds.  There are, of course, your standard 40, 60, and 100-watt versions.  None of those denominations can be eliminated, because the ceiling fans in the attic take nothing higher than 40s, living room lamps are happiest with 60s (or even 75s, to make matters even more complicated), and the cellar HAS to have 100s to make it light enough to see down there.

Then there are the specialty bulbs – including, but not limited to candelabra-based candle-tip 25s for the dining room chandelier and solid white standard-based candle-looking 40s for the office fixture.  Not to mention those funky totally round ones around our bathroom mirror.

The cabinet above the dryer has a low shelf and a high (read: completely unreachable by Patty, who could keep a stool nearby, but WHERE?) shelf.  On the left side of the low shelf, we have traditionally stacked the beach towels, and in the remaining seven-inch wide space on the right side of that shelf, Yours Truly has tried in vain to keep the myriad of light bulbs organized.  On that matter, she has obviously miserably.

When you yank out the beach towels to go swimming (or for other more pressing purposes), one or more light bulb packages is prone to fall.  They cannot then be put back up, because I cannot reach to stack them properly (the dryer being in the way and my height and arm length both being somewhat sub-standard), and the only other current occupant of the house who would care to do so spends an awful lot of hours driving to and from Springfield these days.

When you need a light bulb, it is impossible to find what you need in the stash on the right side of that shelf.  Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that we even own what you need.  If you then go to the store to purchase what you need, you will find that incandescent bulbs have been deemed evil and are no longer available.  If you happen to locate some obscure store that still (against U.S. governmental recommendations – or is it regulations?) sells incandescent bulbs, you will be motivated to stock up enough of said to last into the next decade, because you HATE those compact fluorescent bulbs that are now being shoved into our households.  When you do bring home your bags and bags of lovely old-fashioned, inefficient incandescent bulbs, you will have no closet in which to store them, and this will cause frustration.

A few weeks ago, two packs of light bulbs fell out of the cabinet and landed on the dryer.  The dryer already support a large plastic container of laundry soap (which can’t sit on the floor because then there would be no room for the laundry baskets or the feet of the people who walk in there to do laundry) and a box of dryer sheets (which can’t live in the cabinet above the washer because it’s full of other stuff that can’t be stored in closets, because they don’t exist).

These two packs of light bulbs were moved back and forth and back and forth and back and forth over the top of the dryer every time some one needed to clean the lint screen – FOR OVER A MONTH!  No one thought to put them away in the cabinet, and I didn’t want to even LOOK in that cabinet, because I knew it was impossible to organize the light bulbs.

Furthermore, our beach towels have become very frayed and very faded through the years, and in recent weeks, Wal-Mart had nice ones on sale for a mere $3 each.  I bought about seven.  And folded them neatly.  And put them on the left side of the shelf in the cabinet above the dryer.  Which forced me to look at the light bulbs. . .

And so, today, in a veritable fit of decluttering and reorganizing, I took down all the light bulbs and neatly arranged them in the dishwasher.  The “normal” bulbs are on the top rack, with the specialty ones on the lower rack.  I can see all the light bulbs, and I know exactly what we have!  With those extra seven inches, the beach towels now fit easily on their shelf.  (In the spirit of leftovers that will never be eaten but which must be saved until the spoil, the old dead beach towels will be moved into the playroom – although I don’t think full disclosure on that matter is really essential, either.)

So now, if you need a light bulb, you will know where to look.

Been visiting

Churches, that is.  We are trying to find a good local church for our family to attend, and over the past several months, it has been quite the process.

We’ve visited Church A several times.  It has awesome Bible teaching, okay worship, and little to no emphasis on relationship.  The leader of the church seems to be more of an apostle than a pastor, and I don’t know how long he will be there.

We’ve been to Church B twice, but have marked it off our list of potentials.  It featured better worship, very friendly people, and good possibilities for the kids to connect with potential friends, but the pastor taught as scripture things that the scriptures simply didn’t say.  He read an awful lot into the the Bible, and he hollers when he preaches.  The former rubbed us all the wrong way, and the latter gave me a headache.  (I did take two Tylenol before going the second time and that did help somewhat, but the thought of having to take Tylenol before every church service is wearying.)

We’ve attended Church C twice, as well.  The congregation is much smaller, and the worship’s not as good, but there is a strong emphasis on relationship, and the pastor seems to genuinely have a pastor’s heart for the people.  The teaching has been insightful and scriptural, although she (yes, the pastor is a woman – not yet sure how to process that) didn’t actually read from the Bible quite as much as I would have liked.

Today we visited Church D for the first and final time.  It was just way too much for all of us.  In Church D’s defense (and my firm determination to say something good about any church), I will say that its sanctuary was bright and colorful.

I will also say that all the flags, banners, spinning dancers, be-ribboned silver tambourines, and extended worship were quite a bit over the top for me.  I’m just not used to ladies in long, hot pink, sequined vests twirling  flags and such for an hour and half.  The acoustic guitar was painfully loud, and the teaching/preaching was completely non-existent.  Anyone who is billed as “a great Bible teacher,” but who insists that Revelation 5:12 says God is worthy to receive the tithe, clearly does not read the same Bible I do!  The 2.75 hour service was also challenging to get through.

I think we’re going to go back and visit Church C again – maybe a few times in a row to get a better feel for it.  I would not describe church searches as recreational.

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